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Beginning Clarinet Songbook

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Welcome to the Beginning Clarinet Songbook

Lesson 13: Sound
Another Accidental: the Natural Sign

Follow the links below for more information on each song, as well as pictures and helpful links.

Song #1: Klara Nett's Night Song

Song #2: Wintry Reflections on a Silvery Stream

Song #3: The Long Curve

Song #4: The Clearing of the Clouds

Song #5: Flopsy the Whimsical Clown Finds Seven Clowns in His Trunk

Song #6: Clarobotoo Flies High Over the Salton Sea

The elements of music in Lesson 13:

Sound: Pitches used in this lesson: Low G through B flat
Dynamics used in these pieces: forte, mezzo forte, mezzo piano, and piano
Accidentals: flats, sharps, and naturals
Rhythm: Time signatures used in this lesson: two-four, three-four, four-four
Note values used in this lesson: eighth notes, eighth rests, quarter notes, quarter rests, half notes, half rests, dotted half notes, whole notes, and whole rests
Melody: phrases, breath marks, slurs
Harmony: Key signatures

Up to this point you have learned the names of nine different pitches: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, B flat, and F sharp. The pitches that do not have any sharps or flats are also called “natural” notes. In other words, the pitch called F, that you learned at the beginning of the book, can also be called F natural. Sometimes musicians will need to play both a sharp and a natural note in the same measure. We accomplish that with the natural sign.

The Natural Sign

The natural sign cancels out any other accidental that occurs earlier in the same measure. The natural sign also cancels any flats or sharps that occur in a key signature. Just like sharps and flats, the natural sign is good for the rest of the measure in which it occurs.

For example, in measure 2 of song number 1 of Lesson 13, you should play B flat on beat 2, and B natural on beat 4.

In measure 3 of song number 3 of Lesson 13, the natural sign cancels out the sharp in the key signature. You should play F natural on beat one of that measure. However, in measure 13 of that song, there is no natural sign, and you should play F sharp again.

Sometimes composers will write a natural, flat, or sharp sign even when it is not necessary. We call these markings “courtesy accidentals.”

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Thank you.
Kyle Coughlin

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